The bid defeat on Saturday was Newcastle’s third in succession without French International Yohan Cabaye.
Cheick Tiote in action for Ivory Coast at ACON
And of course we’ve been without Cheick Tiote since the 3-0 win over Manchester United on January 4th.
And in the five league games since then we have three win and two defeats in which we conceded 5 goals at Fulham and Spurs - but that’s still 9 points in those five games with Tiote missing and Demba Ba missing for the first three of those games.
And we’ve missed Cabaye for the last three games so 9 points from those five games is a good return given so many of our best players were missing.
Things will look a lot better through the eyes of Newcastle fans if we can beat Wolves at home a week on Saturday, and we’ll have 45 points from 26 games, and that’s just one point short of what we reached last season in the full 38 league games.
That has to be a huge improvement on last season, which is all we were looking for this season, and finishing in the top ten.
Alan Pardew is glad to get his best players back in the side, and that should help the defense from now on:
“It’ll be good to get Tiote and Cabaye back for the next game,” “We’ve missed them, but I thought we also missed Ryan Taylor. He’s been a big player for us recently and I’m sure he would have helped us had he been in the midfield.”
“If you’d had those three players available, I’m sure it would have shored us up a bit. We’re a little bit limited in that midfield – and that made it tough for our back four.”
The poor performance of our defense – we’ve conceded 28 goals in the last 14 league games – should prompt Newcastle to bring in at least two new defenders in the summer – a top center-back and a top full back.
That should offer more competition for places next season, and of course we’ll have Steven Taylor back, who was simply terrific for Newcastle before he injured his Achilles in the Chelsea game, and is now out for the season.
But whoever we bring in during the summer, we have to hope it’s another excellent transfer window for Newcastle, as the Tyneside club tries to build another top team.